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Five Outfits for Being the Cool Gay Auntie

Sometime in 2019, I got a phone call from my mom, which led to me calling my brother. “You should call him,” she said, so I did. And when I called him he had news. His wife was pregnant, they were having a baby, and they wanted to know if I was interested in being the godmother.

I was more excited about this news than I was about anything in my life at that moment. I have been an aunt my whole life due to being adopted into a family with already established nieces and nephews, but this time was different. I was sober now, had started writing for Autostraddle, and things were just generally looking up for me. I was so thrilled to say yes and start my journey as the cool gay auntie/god mom. After I got off the phone with my brother, I thought:

“I need new clothes.”

Being the cool gay aunt comes with a lot of responsibility. Not only am I entrusted to love and care for a child, I also have to look good while doing it. I had my sights set on this long purple overcoat from ASOS that I really really wanted. I thought, “that’s a coat for a gay auntie.” I ended up getting an even better coat years later and spending all the time in between dressing the part.

My niece is truly the light of my life. My weekly FaceTime calls with my brother are always accented with her smile, her “Hi aunt Dani!” her just being silly and introducing me to her new Bluey toys. If you’re a cool gay aunt or about to be one, here are five outfits for you.

For the birthday party look

A collage of:  A pair of skinny black ripped jeans that hug an hourglass shape on a black woman in a white tank top, a woman on her knees in pink pants and a pink and black checkered shirt, a close up of light pink stiletto heels with rhinestone details. The jeans are marked as #1, the pink checkered shirt is marked as #2, and the pink heels are marked as #3. They are in front of. white background with dark grey squiggly lines.
1. Black Ripped Jeans ($50)
2. Pink and Black Checkered Shirt ($17.50)
3. Pink Heels ($60)

So the little one is turning three this week, you can’t believe it. They grow up so fast! You ask yourself, what looks cool but is also practical for a party filled with toddlers… and you still decide on heels because look, you have a reputation to uphold! The cool gay aunt has to look good, push the fashion envelope, and bring the best gift.

For daycare/school pickup

In a collage: A light skin black woman in cornrows wearing a white sweater-weight thank top and black leather pants (marked as #1), A plus size light skin woman with curly hair in a matching blue blazer and mini skirt (marked as #2), a dark skinned black woman with short natural hair and light blue twill pants with a blue flowered blouse (marked as #3), and camel brown Chelsea boots (marked as #4). These images are in front of a white background with dark grey squiggly lines.
1. Sweater Tank ($50)
2. Blazer ($140)
3. Blue Pants ($80)
4. Boots ($158)

Okay so this time you tone it down, but still want to look cute. Who knows if the little one has a cute teacher/daycare aide? This outfit says “I’m a responsible adult, perhaps a professional in my field, I’m also very sexy.” Maybe you stop and exchange a few flirtatious words with Ms. (not Mrs.) Brown.

For when you have to storm the principal’s office to deal with a parent/teacher

A collage of: a plus size woman in a red-orange suit with a black knit crop top underneath the blazer (marked as #1-2), a plus size wrap shirt with an abstract black and white pattern (marked as #3), and scrappy lime green heels with a midi cut off white skirt (marked as #4). These images are in front of a white background with dark grey squiggly lines.
1. & 2. Red Suit ($130)
3. Wrap Top ($110)
4. Strappy Heels ($135)

The thing you have dreaded is happening. Someone is bullying your boo! They’ve called a parent meeting and want to talk this out like adults but you’re prepared to throw hands if this parent isn’t completely apologetic and trying to correct the behavior at home. Or! There’s a teacher who needs a good talking to because no one hurts your little babe’s feelings!

For the ballet recital/school play

A collage of: an Asian woman in a spaghetti strap Burgundy velvet dress with a slit over the right thigh (marked as #1), a black woman in tan skinny pants and an oversized faux fur zebra coat (marked as #2), and a close up of black heels with straps up the ankle and chunky soles (#3), These images are in front of a white background with dark grey squiggly lines.
1. Dress ($30)
2. Vegan Cow Print Coat ($360)
3. Black Shoes ($50)

When I conceptualized you wearing this outfit I imagined you holding a camcorder. I’m showing my age. But still, you arrive at the recital/school play all smiles, ready to capture your baby on your phone like a modern person. Despite the pleas from the organizers you scream and applaud when your kid takes the stage, the other parents look on like “amateur” but you’re too excited to care.

For a day out with Auntie

A collage of: a multicolored black and red/orange/blue stripped body con dress (marked as #1), yellow platform loafers (marked as #2), and a mini Kelly Green purse with a yellow gold Cuban link chai (marked as #3).  These images are in front of a white background with dark grey squiggly lines.
1. Dress ($50)
2. Yellow Shoes ($172)
3. Matt and Nat Bag ($195)

Alas, the parents have let go of the reigns for their weekly (or monthly) date night and have allowed you full responsibility for the child. What do you plan to do? A museum trip, followed by a sophisticated lunch at a cool place that still serves chicken tenders, and an ice cream dessert. You both get a little messy, but that’s the cool gay auntie way.

Besides, that’s what dry cleaning is for, right?

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Dani Janae is a poet and writer based out of Pittsburgh, PA. When she's not writing love poems for unavailable women, she's watching horror movies, hanging with her tarantula, and eating figs. Follow Dani Janae on Twitter and on Instagram.

danijanae has written 157 articles for us.


  1. This is great! Too femme for me but I still love all the outfits here for other people. I cannot wait to be a gay aunt. None of my siblings, cousins, or close friends are expecting at this time (and I’d consider myself an aunt to any of their kids), but especially as someone who is probably not going to have kids, I eagerly anticipate living my best gay aunt life!

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